between the devil and the deep blue sea

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Related to between the devil and the deep blue sea: between a rock and a hard place


1. often Devil In many religions, the major personified spirit of evil, ruler of Hell, and foe of God. Used with the.
2. A subordinate evil spirit; a demon.
3. A wicked or malevolent person.
4. A person: a handsome devil; the poor devil.
5. An energetic, mischievous, daring, or clever person.
6. Printing A printer's devil.
7. A device or machine, especially one having teeth or spikes and used for tearing.
8. An outstanding example, especially of something difficult or bad: has a devil of a temper.
9. A severe reprimand or expression of anger: gave me the devil for cutting class.
10. Informal Used as an intensive: Who the devil do you think you are?
tr.v. dev·iled, dev·il·ing, dev·ils or dev·illed or dev·il·ling
1. To season (food) heavily.
2. To annoy, torment, or harass.
3. To tear up (cloth or rags) in a toothed machine.
between the devil and the deep blue sea
Between two equally unacceptable choices.
full of the devil
Very energetic, mischievous, daring, or clever.
give the devil his due
To give credit to a disagreeable or malevolent person.
go to the devil
1. To be unsuccessful; fail.
2. To become depraved.
3. Used in the imperative to express anger or impatience.
play the devil with
To upset or ruin.
the devil take the hindmost
Let each person follow self-interest, leaving others to fare as they may.
the devil to pay
Trouble to be faced as a result of an action: There'll be the devil to pay if you allow the piglets inside the house.

[Middle English devel, from Old English dēofol, from Latin diabolus, from Late Greek diabolos, from Greek, slanderer, from diaballein, to slander : dia-, dia- + ballein, to hurl; see gwelə- in Indo-European roots.]

between the devil and the deep blue sea

In a position between two undesirable alternatives; from the old nautical use of the word devil to mean a ship’s gunwale. Someone suspended, eg for painting the ship, over the gunwale would have only the sea below him.
References in periodicals archive ?
Now I know I am engaging Giants fans here, I am led to believe Bradford are probably your biggest rivals, but as a Wakefield follower this final sees me caught between the devil and the deep blue sea - or to be more accurate the devil and the other devil.
HAVING realised stadium status off the back of big-selling breakthrough Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea, John Fred Young's Kentucky rockers take a step back from its radio-friendly fare, re-establishing their heavy rock credentials ahead of an October 30 headliner at the LG Arena.
Here there are some great, evergreen tunes - Solar, Stars Fell On Alabama, Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea, Somewhere, Tonight, and I Thought About You.